Allied Publications’ The Times Picture Annual 2011 was awarded second place in the non-fiction category of this year’s National Book Award. The book was edited by Darrin Zammit Lupi. Ilwien il-Festi Maltin Vol. 1 placed first.

Prof. Oliver Friggieri, who was recently decorated with the Al Merito della Repubblica Italiana award for his research on cultural relations between Malta and Italy, was given a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to literature. Presenting the award, President Emeritus Eddie Fenech Adami hailed Prof. Friggieri as a scholar, academic, author and poet and praised him for his varied work, which, he said, put Malta on the international literary map.

While former Labour leader Alfred Sant placed second in the best novel in Maltese category with his book  Bhal f’Dizzjunarju, former PN secretary general Joe Saliba got second prize for his book of Maltese poetry Spiral.

Culture Minister Mario de Marco said that whenever he saw books he thought about his father, because books spilled out of every room at his parents’ house.

He praised initiatives such as that by the Malta Council for Culture and The Arts Spreading Words to encourage the translation of Maltese works into foreign languages to better spread the word about Maltese literature.

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